Oklahoma Guard comes to vaccine aid


Colonel Robert Walter, Oklahoma National Guard Joint Task Force Commander, said he expects all Oklahomans to have received the COVID-19 vaccine by midsummer. Photo courtesy ngaok.org

The Oklahoma National Guard’s Joint Task Force for COVID is helping to distribute vaccines — a job that is taking the complete devotion of all 152 members. 

Since the pandemic started, the task force has been working to aid in COVID relief. Their efforts have gone mostly unnoticed, but their work behind the scenes has been crucial. 

“We’re at the level where we’re giving as many vaccines as we’re getting,” said Colonel Robert Walter, Joint Task Force Commander. “So, the limiting factor has almost become vaccine availability, not our ability to put it into people’s arms.”

The Guard is currently working in conjunction with the Oklahoma State Health Department wherever they are needed. As vaccine availability grows, the Colonel believes that all of Oklahoma can be vaccinated by midsummer.

Gaylord News is a Washington-based reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.